It’s Edinburgh Fringe time again!
The Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival running for most of the month of August each year. I’m going to assume that you’ve heard of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe because most people have! But, just in case you’re completely oblivious to one of the biggest events in Edinburgh, here’s a wee bit of background on it for you.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe (most commonly referred to as The Fringe) started in 1947 and has run every August since then. It’s an open access arts festival, meaning anyone can put on a show. And anyone does!
Tourist and performers from all over the world descend on our capital, and it’s often the starting point for comedians. With around 300 venues in the city, you’re spoiled for choice on what to see! Whether you like comedy, dance or theatre there is so much to choose from. There are even performances to keep the kids entertained for part of their school holidays!
If you’re a bit of a history buff and want to read up on the Fringe you can do so here.
Unless you were to take the whole month off to see shows, you will unfortunately only be able to scratch the surface of what’s on offer. You really need to be selective about the shows you go to. I love comedy, so something that’s going to make me laugh is always top of my list.
Our first show was Tash York’s ‘Adulting’ at Underbelly. A cabaret comedy, that I really hope most grown-ups can relate to. Tash talks (and sings) about the real struggle that being an adult is. The show is so funny because everything Tash is saying is true. I think everyone likes to pretend that they’ve got all their s**t together, rather than admitting that they haven’t taken their glass recycling out for so long that now when they go to the bottle bank they’re going to look like raging alcoholics (I’m not referring to myself in this scenario…)!
Tash sings along to tunes you will definitely recognise, with even a bit of Disney thrown in there. Oh, and she even did a wee bit of improv! This show is hilarious and should definitely be on your list of shows to see at this year’s Fringe. Underbelly is a great venue, with lots of mini venues there are loads of other shows to see. There are also a couple of outdoor bar areas you can sit in to soak up the Fringe and the sun (or rain depending on which Scotland you get!).
‘Adulting’ is running until Monday 27th August at Underbelly, Bristo Square – Buttercup. You can buy tickets here.
What are your top picks for the Fringe? Comment and let me know what you’re planning on seeing or have already seen!
*Tickets were gifted by Tash York but as always all views are my own.
Image provided by Tash York
On Saturday Mark and I headed along to Festival Village: Waverley in Edinburgh.
If you’re local to Edinburgh you might have already seen it (or even been in), you can find it on top of Waverley Mall. Expect street food, live music, beer, champagne, and of course gin! I made sure I ate light on Saturday morning because I knew there would be loads of food I’d want to try!
We headed in and did a lap of the whole village first to make sure we were making an informed choice for food. Honestly, it wasn’t an easy decision! The burgers at The Butcher Boy looked AMAZING! Steak and chips from The Pitt were also an option, but unsurprisingly pizza from Pizza Geeks won! I opted for “The Mario” – mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and oregano. Simple but delicious! Mark went for “The Braveheart” – mozzarella, salame milano, haggis and Stornoway black pudding. The pizzas were perfect, not too big and thin and crispy. We did a slice for a slice and both tasted amazing.
We got drinks from The Butcher Boy. It was quite a warm day so I chose Thistly Cross strawberry cider and Mark tried the new offering from West, Heidi-Weiss. Of course being in Scotland there was no way we were going to get through the day without a bit of rain…while we were waiting on our pizzas it started and everyone huddled under the spaces that were undercover. Thankfully it didn’t last long and by the the time our food was ready the rain was off!
We also couldn’t resist the halloumi fries from The Pitt. These guys were also at a beer festival we went to a while ago at Summerhall and their halloumi fries are things of dreams! I mean, fried cheese?! Erm, yes please! We scoffed these with some more drinks under the covered bar at Malones, it was the perfect spot to people watch.
Festival Village: Waverley is open until the end of this month daily from 11am – 12am and The Butcher Boy and Fizz & Pearl are open from 9am for breakfast. If you haven’t had a chance to head along yet there’s still time! Make sure you get yourself there and why not catch some shows at the Fringe too and make a day of it!
*Thank you to the Festival Village: Waverley for inviting us along to sample the tasty food and drink on offer.
Photographs by me
This week sees the start of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in my opinion the best time to be in the city.
The city is absolutely buzzing with street performers, people handing you flyers and so many food and drink stalls. Often the Royal Mile gets so busy you can barely move. It’s bloody fantastic!
So, for anyone who doesn’t know about the Edinburgh Fringe (are you even human?!), it’s basically a festival that runs for the month of August in our fine capital city. It’s often where comedians start their career, but if comedy isn’t your thing you can also see theatrical performances too and there are so many street performers you’re not short of choice. There is really something for everyone.
We went to our first of this year’s shows last night at the Gilded Balloon, Gillian Cosgriff: To The Moon & Back. A one woman show, it’s Gillian, her keyboard and loop pedal. This is a musical comey, and despite the fact that I’m someone who isn’t normally into musical comedy I freakin’ loved this show! She is looking at irrational fears, and in particular the fear of space (yup, it’s really a thing. It has a name and everything – astrophobia). The show starts with Gillian coming on stage in a NASA space suit, complete with helmet and gloves. Gillian claims that on the matter of visiting space there are two types of people – people who would jump at the chance to visit space if space travel were something the common person could do, and the type of person that absolutely does not want to go to space. Turns out Mark and I fall into different camps…he wants to go to space, I do not.
As well as space, Gillian talks about yoga and her fear of marriage and the fact as women it’s expected that we have reached that point of proper adulthood by a certain age and that you’re a failure if you have not.
Like many of the shows at the Fringe you’re in a small, intimate venue which is either great or very awkward and uncomfortable. This performance falls into the first category, Gillian engages with the audience in a way that is good – not like being singled out by a comedian just because they can see you. When she took her space helmet off she completely acknowledged the fact that she had lipstick on her chin and just rolled with it. It makes her relatable to the audience.
The songs were funny, especially the space song where she talks about Uranus and confirms that actually deep down we’re all really still 8 year old kids that can’t help but giggle at that word! I cannot confirm or deny if there will be any Savage Garden in the show…
If you’re putting together your list of shows to see this year then definitely go and see this, To The Moon & Back is running from 2nd-27th August (no show 15th August) at the Gilded Balloon – The Turret. You can buy your tickets here.
Do you have your Fringe calendar organised for this year? I would love to hear any recommendations from shows you have been to.
I was gifted with the tickets for the show by Gillian Cosgriff, all opinions are my own.
Images provided by Gillian Cosgriff